The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

final peril

with one comment


– photo by Mitch Waxman

“Every time might be the last time.” Dutch Kills, where I’ve spent so much time and effort over the last 15 years, is pictured in today’s post. I can’t help but be reminiscent.

The broiling hot summer days bringing tours through here, those frigid frost bitten mornings standing on one of these bridges with a camera and tripod waiting for the sun to rise, the late night walks, the scary moments of actual peril when I found myself confronted with the baser aspects of the street…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ll never forget the first time, when I followed a Google maps pathway here from Astoria. “Hey, I’m going to go check out this Newtown Creek joint I’ve heard about” is what I said to Our Lady of the Pentacle when leaving the house. “Be careful” she said. That’s how it started.

The warning to “be careful” always strikes me oddly. I’m the very definition of careful in everything I do. It can be offered that one of the biggest flaws in my personality is the amount of care I display, embed into, and enact in my daily round. My “care” actually borders on neuroticism. I take the OSHA motto of “how can I get hurt” that they drill into the industrial world quite seriously. Before I cross a street, I look three times, not two.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s my tree of paradise in the shot above, which I seem to have spent most of the pandemic months photographing. All of this is now somebody else’s’ problem. I can tell you who that somebody is – Will Elkins is Executive Director at Newtown Creek Alliance – and Will is “the man.” Smart and kind, Will has assembled a staff of amazing people at NCA, and they are the future. It’s time to stop talking about the past here, and to start talking about tomorrow. Will and the NCA staff are the people to do that.

I’m heading into the west, like one of Tolkien’s elves.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Given the reflective mood I’m in at the moment, a statement I’d offer is this – it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve met some amazing people, done and seen things that not many other people have, and occasionally got to help people who needed help. No regrets. I never “took,” even when I found myself surrounded by high rank politicians and the “powers that are.” Always did I ask myself “What would Superman do?” and used that as a guidepost for any moral decisions.

That’s apparently a Night Heron in the shot above, but since I always get the name of a bird wrong when I try to say what kind of bird a bird is – so, it’s a three eyed lobe tickler.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If you shine a light into the waters here at night, the surface starts boiling as the little nocturnal fishies in the water column fall into panic mode. They’re what that descendant of the dinosaurs pictured above was hunting in the darkness.

I’m currently looking for a job in Pennsylvania. Worst comes to worst, I’ll drive for Lyft or Uber until I get something solid. There’s always managing a Denny’s or something. I plan on staying away from anything political or nonprofit in nature. I just want to go to work, and then take pictures and explore the area the rest of the time while I’m figuring out my next incarnation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

We are all different people at different times of our lives. I used to be a comic book artist and writer who worked on it obsessively all night, while maintaining a day job persona on Madison Avenue as a production artist and photo retoucher. The latter job title caused me to have to learn about photography in order to interact with the photographers whose work I was editing and processing. That got me started taking my own shots, which is what led me down the path to who I am currently. Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans, as the saying goes.

More tomorrow – at this – your Newtown Pentacle.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 10, 2022 at 11:00 am

One Response

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  1. “Hey, I’m going to go check out this Newtown Creek joint I’ve heard about” – I don’t recall ever hearing this tale of your “first time” meetup with the Creek, Mitch. Or hearing you talk about that habit of compulsive carefulness. Fringe benefits of your current “out-transitioning” status, I guess. Do I have to say how much you’ll be missed? OK, I’ll say it.

    Kenneth Furie

    November 10, 2022 at 11:23 am

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